My group purchased our electronic health records system (EHR) about 5 years ago.  We had 4 clinical practice locations (soon to be 5 1/2) with 1 administration office.  None of these sites are close to each other.  A major reason for purchasing an EHR was, and still is, to collect and analyze all data from our entire practice for the purpose of determining outcomes of our treatments. In other words, ...

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In today’s China, both eastern and western medical philosophies and practices exist relatively harmoniously.  Patients with minor, usually self limited problems are treated initially with a seven day course of seven liquid herbal preparations taken each day.  If symptoms subside, usually treatment is discontinued.  If improved but not resolved, formula may be modified.  If worse, regimen can be changed and/or referral to specialists arranged.  There are hospitals that practice purely ...

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A few weeks ago, my wife and I attended “A Conversation With David ‘Sonny’ Lacks” at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.  The event was a sellout with 900 attendees.  As it turns out, most of the colleges and universities in San Diego County designated “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” as the book discussed by students and ...

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The fact that the term “cancer survivorship” is now part of our vocabulary is a testimony to advances made in management of these diseases.  Most cancer survivors, however, are not unscathed by the experience.  As I tell my patients, they won’t be entirely as they were before treatment.  How these issues are dealt with varies from person to person.  But, awareness that chronic problems may persist long after treatments end ...

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Throughout my career in oncology, I thought I was communicating difficult concepts to patients and families relatively well.  Recently, my wife and I visited our daughter in Salt Lake City over Thanksgiving.  Catherine is an extremely accomplished blogger and video broadcaster.  So when she commented on my blogs, I paid attention.  Her (constructive) criticism was my use of some medical terminology which she didn’t understand.  More surprising to me was ...

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The longer I continue in practice, the more complex it becomes.  I thought advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer would clarify decision making ; instead answers have led to more questions.  In the spirit of the immortal Henny Youngman:  Take the issue of cancer screening, please. The story of screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) and prostate cancer has many similarities.  The primary screening and diagnostic tool during ...

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It was 1967.  I was an intern in the UCLA-Wadsworth VA Rotating Internship Program when I reported for my physical as part of the Berry Plan deferment.  For the younger set, physicians and dentists could elect to delay military service until completion of their first year of residency training, and we could elect our branch of service we preferred to serve in.  I chose the Air Force.  On the History ...

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